Chinese New Year is on Friday, February 16, 2018. This day is the new moon day of the first Chinese lunar month. The exact new moon time on this day is at 05:06 a.m. in China's time zone. The new moon time falls on February 15, 2018 in US time zones.
The 2018 is the 4715th Chinese Year. The name of the year is the Brown Dog. Chinese celebrate Chinese New Year festivals for 15 days. The Last day is the Chinese Lantern Festival, which is on March 2, 2018.
Chinese New Year is the biggest festival in China. The population of China is estimated close to 1.4 billion in January, 2018. The population of oversea Chinese has grown to more than 50 million. The 2018 world population is over 7.5 billion. That means more than 19% of people in the world will celebrate 2018 Chinese New Year.
Chinese calendar combines solar, lunar and 60 Stem-Branch counting systems. The 60 Stem-Branch calendar uses the names of Yin Yang Five Elements (Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth) and 12 animal to rank the sequences. Five elements are connected to Five colors - White, Black, Green, Red, and Brown. So Chinese use the color animal name to count the year. The name of 2018 is the Yang (Male) Earth Dog. Brown is connected to Earth. Therefore, 2018 is also called Brown Earth Dog Year.
2018 is the 4715th Chinese Year. However, Chinese civilization is up to 8000 years. The Dadiwan relics shows the civilization of houses, palaces, cooking tools, color pottery, weapons, artifacts and agriculture. Archaeologists doubt the I-Ching was invested there.
Chinese prepare about one month for Chinese New Year Eve and Chinese New Year festival. They celebrate Chinese New Year for 15 days until Chinese Lantern Festival.
The Chinese New Year Eve is the day of family reunion. Chinese TV stations provide many Chinese New Year special programs. Most Chinese stay awake until hearing the sound of firecrackers to welcome the Chinese New Year. On the day of Chinese New Year, people like to greet with Gong Xi Fa Chai Gong Xi Fa Chai, which means "congratulations and make a fortune." to start the celebrations.
Chinese Lantern Festival a.k.a. Yuan-Xiao Festival is on the 15th day of the first lunar month in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese Lantern Festival of 2018 falls on March 2, 2018. The first day of the first lunar month is the Chinese New Year Day. Chinese celebrate Chinese New Year Festival for 15 days. The Lantern Festival is the last day of Chinese New Year festival. 2018 is the Year of the Dog. The theme of Chinese Lantern Festival will be related to Dog.
Chinese eat Yuan-Xiao on this day. This custom originated from the Eastern Jin Dynasty in the fourth century, then became popular during the Tang and Song Dynasty. They are made of sweet rice flour into sticky glutinous balls. They can be filled in with sesame, red-bean or peanut butter paste. Usually, they are severed with sugar water. But some people still make salty Tang-Yuan. Yuan-Xiao looks just like Tang-Yuan. The difference between Yuan-Xiao and Tang-Yuan is the way they are made and cooked. This is because that Chinese in different geographic area prepare the food in different way. Chinese call the one they eat on Winter Solstice Day is Tang-Yuan. The one they eat on the Lantern festival is called Yuan-Xiao.
The religion for most Chinese today is mixing Buddhism and Taoism (Daoism) together. Many people will pray to gods for good luck, wealth, health, wisdom, career, longevity, peace, happiness at temple or home.
Many Chinese believe in Chinese astrology predictions. They like to ask the advices from Chinese fortune tellers regarding their fortune for the new year. So they can take advantage for their lucks and avoid the possible mistakes. They are many Chinese astrology theories. The popular one in the western world is the Chinese Zodiac Signs. But the accurate one is the Chinese Five Element Astrology.
Chinese New Year Festival and Parade